Children spill out of this converted apartment in Kweilin Street. They spill out onto the smelly corridor, flood the rubbish-strewn balcony that is actually the roof of the next-door building, talk at the top of their voices, shriek, laugh and shriek some more.

This is a side of Shamshuipo we haven’t yet explored. The Shamshuipo inhabited by the very young. Pint-sized urchins and little princesses. Nosey eight-year olds and reticent sixes. They all seem to congregate on Kweilin Street. This is where SoCO runs a welfare centre for the underprivileged. Where harried mums can drop off their kids for English classes, computer lessons, or well, just for fun. The facilities are basic. But a day spent here is a day spent away from the dreary grind of life inside a cubicle apartment.

The kids can be a handful. They throw tantrums, they squabble, they sulk, they fight, they play pranks, and sometimes, they go on demo marches. Or make that two demo marches – meticulously planned events, held over two days of the Chinese Lunar New Year.

The walks weren’t all that long, but they were hard. Boy, were they hard. Uphill, from the Legco building, all the way to Government House. A long line of kids, yelling slogans, waving placards. Some had a blast. The tinier ones had trouble keeping up. But everyone completed the march.

A long line of kids, trailed by a huge contingent of paparazzi. The littlest ones received the most attention.

And what do the children want this Lunar New Year?

An extra year of free education. Childcare support so their mothers can go out and find work. A better future. A chance, to get out of that cubicle.